The National Trust for Historic Preservation today announced a grant from American Express totaling $450,000 to support recovery efforts related to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Grant funding for the rehabilitation of local historic buildings and landscapes will be equally shared among historic preservation and community organizations in Houston, Miami and Puerto Rico. The sites that will be rehabilitated are the LULAC Council 60 Clubhouse in Houston, Dr. James M. Jackson’s Office and Surgery in Miami and various structures and landscapes within Paraíso Las Lunas, a nature preserve in Caguas, Puerto Rico.
“The preservation community has an opportunity and an obligation to support historic places and people impacted by these disasters,” said Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “With American Express’ support, the National Trust will work with local partners to address critical preservation needs and enhance these historic places for generations to come.”
“Over the past five months, American Express has provided financial assistance to communities impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “Restoring and protecting these historic sites is an important step in helping these communities attract visitors and rebuild their futures.”
Paraíso Las Lunas, Caguas, Puerto Rico
The 19-acre Paraíso Las Lunas was the home and studio of renowned Mexican ceramic artist Toni Hambleton and her husband Richard beginning in 1962. The site is renowned for the variety of native Puerto Rican flora and fauna found there as well as the beauty of its structures. The eye of Hurricane Maria passed directly over Las Lunas, damaging several buildings and uprooting many of the more than 51,000 trees previously planted there.
Para La Naturaleza/Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico will receive the grant and use it to repair the damaged structures, remove an excess of storm debris and restore the forest canopy that was an important part of the habitat protected at that site.
The Council 60 Clubhouse, Houston, Texas
Named a National Treasure today by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the clubhouse was built in 1907 and later became the headquarters of one of the most influential U.S chapters of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). LULAC Council 60 was at the center of the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s. This chapter of LULAC was instrumental in the creation of several significant national social programs. The grant will be provided to LULAC Council 60 and help to rehabilitate the building and put it back into use as a mixed-use community center.
Dr. James M. Jackson’s Office and Surgery, Miami, Florida
Built in 1905 by Miami’s first resident physician Dr. Jackson, the building exemplifies neo-classical architecture in South Florida. Today the building serves as the headquarters for the Dade Heritage Trust and as a visitor’s center offering walking and biking tours. The grant will enable repair and replacement of handicap ramp and porch on the south side of the building, east and north porch floor fascia replacement, window repair and electrical system improvements. The Dade Heritage Trust will also use grant funds for roofing and carpentry repair at the Wagner Homestead, a mid-19th century structure and the oldest known house in Dade County. With these improvements, both buildings will be able to be more fully utilized for visitor services, events and programs and will have an improved ability to weather a future flood or storm event.
Learn more about the National Trust’s ongoing work to support disaster recovery and how you can help at https://savingplaces.org/disaster-recovery.